We are seeing so many remarkable pre-announcement pieces showing up, this is a place to post and discuss them. This one for example, is making discoveries sound 'ho hum' which a few months/years ago were heralded as amazing breakthroughs. Today for example: 

"Nearly Every Star Hosts at Least One Alien Planet"


When a month or so ago they were making a BIG deal about finding one planet in the sweet zone which could possibly support life, son they they say 25% of them could support life! Including mention of red dwarfs, etc. The Zeta predicted evidence continues to build up!

Here is another blog that relates, describing a wobble:

NASA Scientists "Discover" a Wobbly Planet!?


Views: 133406


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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on June 14, 2016 at 6:06am


What Happens If GPS Fails?

Despite massive reliance on the system’s clocks, there’s still no longterm backup.

In only took thirteen millionths of a second to cause a whole lot of problems.

Last January, as the U.S. Air Force was taking one satellite in the country’s constellation of GPS satellites offline, an incorrect time was accidentally uploaded to several others, making them out of sync by less time than it takes for the sound of a gunshot to leave the chamber.

The minute error disrupted GPS-dependent timing equipment around the world for more than 12 hours. While the problem went unnoticed by many people thanks to short-term backup systems, panicked engineers in Europe called equipment makers to help resolve things before global telecommunications networks began to fail. In parts of the U.S and Canada, police, fire, and EMS radio equipment stopped functioning. BBC digital radio was out for two days in many areas, and the anomaly was even detected in electrical power grids.

Despite its name, the Global Positioning System is not about maps; it’s about time. Each satellite in the constellation (24 are needed, plus the U.S. has several spares) has multiple atomic clocks on board, synchronized with each other and to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)—the time standard used across the world—down to the nanosecond. The satellites continually broadcast their time and position information down to Earth, where GPS receivers in equipment from iPhones to automated tractors acquire signals and use the minuscule differences in their arrival time to determine an exact position.

What if all these flying clock radios were wiped out, and everything on the ground started blinking 12:00?

While GPS was initially conceived to aid navigation, globally synchronized time is now a much more critical function of the system. Telecom networks rely on GPS clocks to keep cell towers synchronized so calls can be passed between them. Many electrical power grids use the clocks in equipment that fine-tunes current flow in overloaded networks. The finance sector uses GPS-derived timing systems to timestamp ATM, credit card, and high-speed market transactions. Computer network synchronization, digital television and radio, Doppler radar weather reporting, seismic monitoring, even multi-camera sequencing for film production—GPS clocks have a hand in all.

But last January’s system failure brings up an often-ignored question: What if all these flying clock radios were wiped out, and everything on the ground started blinking 12:00? According to Mike Lombardi, a metrologist at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, “Nobody knows exactly what would happen.” Since so many of these technologies were designed specifically with GPS in mind, the unsettling truth, he says, is “there’s no backup.”

This isn’t a secret. Concern for the consequences of the country’s reliance on this invisible utility has been growing among industry and government workers for more than 15 years, after the Department of Transportation issued a report on the need for a backup navigation system, in 2001. But while the means to create one has existed since, a winding bureaucratic path has kept it from actually being implemented. And that leaves many of the everyday tools society depends on vulnerable until one is.

* * *

There are plenty of reasons GPS could fail.

Intentional attack is one, as emphasized by a declassified 2012 risk estimate by the Department of Homeland Security. One of the system’s most basic problems is its signals are weak enough to be easily obstructed. Truckers with cheap jamming devices designed to elude employer tracking have unintentionally interfered with airport systems; criminals thwarting GPS tags on stolen goods in shipping containers have accidentally shut down port operations.  On a grander scale, North Korea has tormented South Korea with waves of jamming attacks. (Jamming devices are now illegal in the U.S., but not difficult to obtain illicitly.)

A few steps up from jamming devices in both complexity and damage are spoofers: systems that get GPS receivers to lock on to mimicked signal. Spoofers don’t trigger equipment alarms, and deliver altered time and position information to unaware users. It's been suggested that Iran used this tactic tolead astray two U.S. Navy patrol boats captured in the Gulf last January.

“It wouldn't take that large of an event to take out all GPS."

A plausible worst-case attack scenario would look something like this: Spoofers feed erroneous data to electrical substation equipment in a metro area, which could overheat power lines and transformers, causing widespread outages. Meanwhile, multiple hidden jammers could cripple cellphone service, and also force fire, police, and emergency medicine departments to revert to old, single-frequency channels. Supplies in this scenario could only be bought in many places with cash, which would be limited without ATM service. According to the DHS report, it could take 30 days or more before the malicious devices are located and disabled. The longer it took, the more systems that would be compromised.

As for unintentional threats to GPS, the DHS risk estimate lists space debris, space weather, defective software, and good old-fashioned human mistakes, among other things. Of these threats, space weather is the most potentially catastrophic, according to Norwegian geophysicist Pal Brekke, whose country was hardest hit by the January outage. Eruptions of high energy radiation from the sun (known as solar flares) and ejections of electrically charged gases have disabled satellites in the past.

With satellites and the chips inside them getting smaller as technology progresses, "one particle from the sun that penetrates a satellite can ruin things,” Brekke says. “It wouldn't take that large of an event to take out all GPS."

* * *

So far, mitigating the loss of GPS signals has involved two approaches. One is interoperability with other global navigation satellite systems like Russia's GLONASS (which also failed due to a ground control error in 2014) or theEuropean and Chinese systems, both of which are expected to be up by 2020. The other is better clocks, says Lombardi, the NIST metrologist, who's published numerous articles on the topic. "The typical cell tower clock has an oscillator similar to that of a wristwatch," he says, "and can drift out of tolerance in minutes without a signal." How long a clock can maintain time on its own, called "holdover," also affects electrical grids, many of which rely on GPS-dependent devices called synchrophasors used to precisely regulate current flow, as well as help locate faults in the network. A lack of such timing technology was the reason it took some Canadian technicians three months to locate failures after theinfamous blackout of 2003.

Chip-scale atomic clocks the size of a penny are a promising new technology that can hold time for about a day, but are currently too expensive to deploy widely. Moreover, hedging and holdover still aren't backups for when space-based signals are simply unavailable.

The bulk of a more promising, comprehensive backup system already exists, right here on the ground. After the sextant but before GPS, navigators around the world used Long Range Aids to Navigation, or “LORAN,” a terrestrial system of transmitters and receiving equipment first developed during WWII. By the mid-1990s, Loran "tower chains" provided coverage for North America, Europe, and other regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Its use declined in favor of the much finer accuracy of GPS after it became available for civil use in 1995, but the U.S. Coast Guard continued working on an improved system using the existing infrastructure. If adopted, "Enhanced" LORAN, or eLoran, could provide positioning accuracy comparable to GPS. Broadcast at hundreds of thousands of watts, the signal is virtually un-jammable, and unlike GPS, can even be received indoors, underwater, and in urban or natural canyons. It also turns out that eLoran can provide a UTC time signal with sub-microsecond time resolution across a large geographical area.

The technology is available—the Coast Guard demonstrated a working prototypelast year—so why isn’t America using it? John Garamendi, a California congressman, asked this question at a July 2015 congressional hearing on the Federal Radionavigation Plan, the nation's primary planning document for position, navigation, and timing (PNT). "There are two kinds of time," he opened, "real time … and then federal time, which seems to be the forever time. The e-Loran system was identified as a backup 15 years ago, and here we are, federal time, not yet done."

Cost doesn’t seem to be a problem. A complete alternate PNT system is estimated at $350 million to $400 million; it costs $1 billion yearly to maintain GPS. And science and industry appears to share a consensus that eLoran is the solution. Even the Air Force Colonel and engineer who created GPS, Brad Parkinson, had been on record for years saying "eLoran is the only cost-effective backup for national needs."

In a 2004, a presidential directive tasked DHS and DOT with creating a backup to the GPS system. In 2008, the DHS issued a press release that it was committing to the system and transferred control from the Coast Guard to its National Protection and Programs Directorate. But push and pull between DHS and the Coast Guard appears to have slowed progress.

Space Katrina would be biblically catastrophic.

After this year’s satellite error, many European officials who had previously followed America’s reluctance to adopt eLoran stepped up development. Meanwhile, pressure from Garamendi, who argued in his address that “without an eLoran system in place ASAP, this country is in serious, serious jeopardy,” prompted a letter to him from the Deputy Secretaries of Defense and Transpor... informing that the PNT Executive Committee has agreed that an eLoran-based timing network “could provide a near term solution” (if private entities bore some of the cost) while they “continue [their] efforts to prescribe a complete set of requirements necessary to support a full complementary PNT capability for the nation.” In other words, it seems: federal time.

Why is the sense of urgency among decision-makers so out of sync? Could some of it be similar to why people delay backing up our computers even though they’ve been telling themselves to for weeks? How do we decide, when presented a risk with unknown odds, when it’s time to sacrifice time and resources to prevent it?  

Now is a critically important time to answer that question, as the world actually been given odds on another, even more catastrophic risk than GPS failure: destruction of the electrical power infrastructure itself. On July 23, 2012, a billion-ton cloud of electrified gases blasted off the far side o... at over six million miles per hour. According to professor Daniel Baker at University of Colorado, this coronal mass ejection (CME) "was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington Event," referring to the strongest solar storm ever recorded, which set fire to telegraph stations and caused auroras down to Cuba. As was widely reported two years ago, if the 2012 CME had occurred one week later, it would have hit Earth.

Space Katrina would be biblically catastrophic. Power could be out for years while electrical transformers were repaired, if the resources are even available to do so. "Collateral effects of a longer-term outage would likely include disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration,” reads a 2008 National Academy of Sciences report.

In 2014, physicist from San Diego calculated the likelihood of a Carrington-level event in the next decade. The odds he came up with were 12 percent.

The predicament of events like this is not that they’re occurring more frequently, but that the rapid development of technology is opening the tools on which humanity depends to an increasingly wide variety of rare but potentially destructive cosmic threats. In the span of a century, we’ve transferred much of the weight of modern society to global infrastructures with wobbly legs. If they collapse, time will very quickly appear to move backward.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on June 11, 2016 at 11:43pm

The NY Times


CreditGérard DuBois

LAST month astronomers from the Kepler spacecraft team announced the discovery of 1,284 new planets, all orbiting stars outside our solar system. The total number of such “exoplanets” confirmed via Kepler and other methods now stands at more than 3,000.

This represents a revolution in planetary knowledge. A decade or so ago the discovery of even a single new exoplanet was big news. Not anymore. Improvements in astronomical observation technology have moved us from retail to wholesale planet discovery. We now know, for example, that every star in the sky likely hosts at least one planet.

But planets are only the beginning of the story. What everyone wants to know is whether any of these worlds has aliens living on it. Does our newfound knowledge of planets bring us any closer to answering that question?

A little bit, actually, yes. In a paper published in the May issue of the journal Astrobiology, the astronomer Woodruff Sullivan and I show that while we do not know if any advanced extraterrestrial civilizations currently exist in our galaxy, we now have enough information to conclude that they almost certainly existed at some point in cosmic history.

Among scientists, the probability of the existence of an alien society with which we might make contact is discussed in terms of something called the Drake equation. In 1961, the National Academy of Sciences asked the astronomer Frank Drake to host a scientific meeting on the possibilities of “interstellar communication.” Since the odds of contact with alien life depended on how many advanced extraterrestrial civilizations existed in the galaxy, Drake identified seven factors on which that number would depend, and incorporated them into an equation.

The first factor was the number of stars born each year. The second was the fraction of stars that had planets. After that came the number of planets per star that traveled in orbits in the right locations for life to form (assuming life requires liquid water). The next factor was the fraction of such planets where life actually got started. Then came factors for the fraction of life-bearing planets on which intelligence and advanced civilizations (meaning radio signal-emitting) evolved. The final factor was the average lifetime of a technological civilization.

Drake’s equation was not like Einstein’s E=mc2. It was not a statement of a universal law. It was a mechanism for fostering organized discussion, a way of understanding what we needed to know to answer the question about alien civilizations. In 1961, only the first factor — the number of stars born each year — was understood. And that level of ignorance remained until very recently.

That’s why discussions of extraterrestrial civilizations, no matter how learned, have historically boiled down to mere expressions of hope or pessimism. What, for example, is the fraction of planets that form life? Optimists might marshal sophisticated molecular biological models to argue for a large fraction. Pessimists then cite their own scientific data to argue for a fraction closer to 0. But with only one example of a life-bearing planet (ours), it’s hard to know who is right.

Or consider the average lifetime of a civilization. Humans have been using radio technology for only about 100 years. How much longer will our civilization last? A thousand more years? A hundred thousand more? Ten million more? If the average lifetime for a civilization is short, the galaxy is likely to be unpopulated most of the time. Once again, however, with only one example to draw from, it’s back to a battle between pessimists and optimists.

But our new planetary knowledge has removed some of the uncertainty from this debate. Three of the seven terms in Drake’s equation are now known. We know the number of stars born each year. We know that the percentage of stars hosting planets is about 100. And we also know that about 20 to 25 percent of those planets are in the right place for life to form. This puts us in a position, for the first time, to say something definitive about extraterrestrial civilizations — if we ask the right question.

In our recent paper, Professor Sullivan and I did this by shifting the focus of Drake’s equation. Instead of asking how many civilizations currently exist, we asked what the probability is that ours is the only technological civilization that has ever appeared. By asking this question, we could bypass the factor about the average lifetime of a civilization. This left us with only three unknown factors, which we combined into one “biotechnical” probability: the likelihood of the creation of life, intelligent life and technological capacity.

You might assume this probability is low, and thus the chances remain small that another technological civilization arose. But what our calculation revealed is that even if this probability is assumed to be extremely low, the odds that we are not the first technological civilization are actually high. Specifically, unless the probability for evolving a civilization on a habitable-zone planet is less than one in 10 billion trillion, then we are not the first.

To give some context for that figure: In previous discussions of the Drake equation, a probability for civilizations to form of one in 10 billion per planet was considered highly pessimistic. According to our finding, even if you grant that level of pessimism, a trillion civilizations still would have appeared over the course of cosmic history.

In other words, given what we now know about the number and orbital positions of the galaxy’s planets, the degree of pessimism required to doubt the existence, at some point in time, of an advanced extraterrestrial civilization borders on the irrational.

In science an important step forward can be finding a question that can be answered with the data at hand. Our paper did just this. As for the big question — whether any other civilizations currently exist — we may have to wait a long while for relevant data. But we should not underestimate how far we have come in a short time.

Comment by M. Difato on June 8, 2016 at 7:20pm

Planet X approach is ‘causing devastating climate and seismic activity’
PUBLISHED: Wed, Jun 8, 2016
THE mysterious Planet X is approaching and will cause widespread destruction across Earth, a conspiracy theorist has claimed.

Although the planet has not even been confirmed by scientists, some believe that there is an elusive planet in our solar system which has a huge orbit and such a strong magnetic pull that it can effect life on Earth.

A new video uploaded to YouTube by Skywatch Media News says that Planet X is bound for Earth after completing half of its 3,600-year elliptical orbit.

It says that the magnetic force of Planet X is so strong that it can effect anything within 48.6 astronomical units (AU) of it – one AU is the distance between Earth and the Sun.

With the planet having completed the first half of its elliptical orbit, it is heading back towards Earth and its strong magnetic pull is causing problems already.

Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/678099/Planet-X-approach-is-c...

Comment by Nancy Lieder on May 10, 2016 at 4:57pm

Astronomer Paul Cox at Slooh.com mentioned Nibiru at 51:27 and the Second Sun at 199:15 during the 8 hour video. Links to those periods in the video below.


Second Sun

Comment by Moderating Staff on May 9, 2016 at 6:50am

Comment by Ecosikh 7 hours ago

Did first humans to reach the Moon see an alien spaceship? Recently discovered Apollo 8 image appears to show mysterious object on lunar surface

  • A film clip from the famous NASA mission shows a large triangular object
  • Shape looks three-dimensional, prompting speculation it could be a UFO
  • Apollo 8 took off from Florida in 1968 and reached moon on Christmas Eve

Apollo 8 is famous for being the first time humans travelled to the moon - but the astronauts might not have been alone in space, if this image is to be believed.

Found at the end of a reel of film taken during the mission in December 1968, it appears to show a large triangular object sitting on, or above, the lunar surface.

The shape is three-dimensional, and seems to be creating its own shadow, prompting speculation that it could be a UFO

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3579576/Recently-discovered... 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Comment by Scott on May 4, 2016 at 9:29pm

Planet Nine: A world that shouldn't exist (5/3/16)

Planet Nine: A world that shouldn't exist

New research by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) examines a number of scenarios and finds that most of them have low probabilities. Therefore, the presence of Planet Nine remains a bit of a mystery.


The Mystery Of Planet Nine: Why Is It So Far From Us? (5/3/16)

A new study examines the most probable explanations for why Planet Nine exists at the outer edges of our solar system and reveals that even the most likely explanation is highly unlikely.


New Evidence of Undiscovered, Mysterious Planet Nine Befuddles Astronomers (5/4/16)

For the second time this year, world-class astronomers claimed to have proven the existence of Planet Nine despite being baffled about the planet’s genesis and uncertainty of its present location.


The most likely theories about where ‘Planet Nine’ came from are still pretty crazy (5/4/16)


ZetaTalk Chat Q&A for April 23, 2016

The Planet 9 prong also presented the cover story that astronomers do not always agree, nor are they always wise and knowledgeable.  They argue. They grope. And through all this ZetaTalk will stand like a beacon.

Comment by Scott on May 4, 2016 at 9:45am

A sample of the headlines for this story.

Are we the only intelligent life in cosmos? Probably not, say astronomers. (5/1/16)

equation: https://www.rochester.edu/news/are-we-alone-in-the-universe/drank-e...

article: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0501/Are-we-the-only-intellig...

Are we alone in the universe? Not likely, according to the maths (5/3/16)


A New Equation Counts How Many Alien Civilizations Have Ever Existed (5/3/16)


The Odds That We’re the Only Advanced Species in the Universe Are Extremely Low (5/3/16)


Intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is almost DEFINITE, say scientists (5/3/16)


Scientists Almost Certain Advanced Life On Other Planets Has Existed At Some Point (5/3/16)


Comment by Moderating Staff on May 3, 2016 at 5:23am

Comment by Ecosikh 8 hours ago

Are aliens living just 40 light-years away? Astronomers 'hit the jackpot' by finding THREE Earth-sized habitable worlds bathed in 'eerie red light' around a nearby star

  • Astronomers have spotted three Earth-sized planets orbiting a dwarf star
  • The miniature planetary system is just 40 light-years away from Earth
  • At least one of these worlds may be not too hot, not too cold, but 'just right'
  • Scientists said they may have 'hit the jackpot' in the search for life

They're not too hot, not too cold, and may provide just the right conditions for life to form. 

Astronomers have found three Earth-sized worlds within the so-called habitable 'Goldilocks' zone of a nearby star.

The scientists believe at least one of these 'three bears' planets may be 'just right' for life to get going, giving the search for life elsewhere in the universe a significant boost.

Astronomers have found three Earth-sized worlds (artist's illustration showing one of the planets and the star) within the so-called habitable 'Goldilocks' zone of a nearby star. The scientists believe at least one of these 'three bears' planets may be 'just right' for life to get going, giving the search for life in the universe a boost

Astronomers have found three Earth-sized worlds (artist's illustration showing one of the planets and the star) within the so-called habitable 'Goldilocks' zone of a nearby star. The scientists believe at least one of these 'three bears' planets may be 'just right' for life to get going, giving the search for life in the universe a boost

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3566047/Are-aliens-l... 

Comment by Scott on May 2, 2016 at 9:16am

Weird Tailless Comet, First Ever Seen, Is a Building Block of Earth (4/29/16)

[Caption:] This illustration shows the most likely orbit for Comet C/2014 S3 (Pan-STARRS), the first-ever object found to be on a long-period cometary orbit. The comet's current orbit takes 860 years to complete one trip around the sun.

..Follow-up observations of dust in this comet's stubby tail — conducted with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope — revealed that S3 more closely resembled stony asteroids from the asteroid belt than a typical comet.


Comment by Ryan X on April 22, 2016 at 2:16am
WISEA 1147 – Rogue Planet or a Brown Dwarf Star?


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